April 6, 2022
April 6, 2022
Zone or Region:
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was it intentional? No
Size 2: Could bury, injure, or kill a person
Around 4800 feet
Avalanche occurred on a small slope, maybe 100 vertical feet, just above the summer road ascending towards Artist Point, where the skintrack towards Table Mountain breaks off from the one towards Artist Point. It was roughly 3-5 feet deep and maybe 80 feet wide, sliding on a hard crust. Two distinct layers are visible on the crown, one roughly four feet down, then the recent storm snow. It was triggered by a snowboarder off a jump. It had been hit 11 times prior to his attempt. He and two others were caught and carried a short distance. Neither him nor the two others caught were buried or injured. The others in the group were above the crown. The avalanche occurred around 11:30 AM. Dozens of folks had traveled the skin track just to the right.
The group was comprised of experienced backcountry snowboarders. Given the 60 inches of recent snowfall, rapidly warming temperatures and widespread avalanche activity, they chose to hit a jump on this small slope knowing that the worst case scenario would be a slide on the landing that wouldn't travel far. They exited the ski are and made the short hike to the location along the flats of Austin Pass. All were equipped with beacons, shovels and probes, and the knowledge to use them. The most surprising part was the twelfth attempt triggering the slide. Prior to his attempt, the two others caught had been positioned out of the potential runout zone. He landed just a bit further downslope a bit further towards the middle of the terrain feature and trees.